Tennis (band)

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Tennis 2012 band crop.png
Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, live 2012
Background information
Origin Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Years active 2010–present
Members Patrick Riley
Alaina Moore
Past members James Barone

Tennis is an American indie pop band from Denver, Colorado, United States, made up of husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley. The duo formed in 2010, and released their debut album, Cape Dory, in 2011. Their second album, Young & Old, was released the following year. Their third release, Ritual in Repeat (2014), was released on Communion records.



Alaina Moore (born May 9, 1985)[1] and Patrick Riley (born September 9, 1986)[2] met in a philosophy class while both students at the University of Colorado, Denver in 2008.[3][4] The couple started the band after they returned from an eight-month sailing expedition down the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard after their graduation.[5] Moore had initially intended to go to law school.[3] The songs on the band's first album would come to document their experiences sailing.[6] Prior to forming Tennis, Moore's earliest singing experience was in church choirs during her youth.[7]

2010–2013: Cape Dory, Young & Old[edit]

Their first releases, both in July 2010, were the "Baltimore" EP on the Underwater Peoples label and the "South Carolina" single on Fire Talk. Tennis released their first studio album, Cape Dory on Fat Possum Records in January 2011. The album, featured on NPR,[8] was based on the couple's experiences during their sailing trip.

During their first tour, James Barone joined the band on drums.[5]

The second Tennis album, Young & Old,[9] was released on Fat Possum Records on February 14, 2012, produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, preceded by the single "Origins",[10] which was issued on Forest Family Records on December 6, 2011.

Tennis released a number of covers as self-released (digital) singles during 2011-2012, including versions of "Tell Her No"[11] by the Zombies, "Is It True?"[12] by Brenda Lee, "Tears in the Typing Pool"[13] by Broadcast and "Guiding Light" [14] by Television.

American Songwriter named Tennis their Writer of the Week for the week of April 23, 2012.[15]

The band made several television appearances during 2012, performing "Origins" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 21,[16] "It All Feels the Same" on Late Night with David Letterman on April 9,[17] and "My Better Self" and "High Road" on Conan on July 25.[18]


In November 2013, Tennis released a 5-song EP titled Small Sound on Communion Records. It was previewed through Pitchfork Advance on October 29, 2013. In May 2014, the band supported sister-act Haim on their North American spring tour.[19]

Their third album, Ritual In Repeat, was released on Communion in September 2014 to critical acclaim. In a feature on the album, NPR Fresh Air's Terry Gross said, "Can you re-invent lively pop from the distant past? ...songwriting team Tennis does just that with their new third album, Ritual in Repeat", while NPR's critic Milo Miles stated, "On Ritual in Repeat, it's like Moore and Riley discover just how much ancient Latin, or in this case extinct pop styles, is their natural language".[20]

Barone left the group in 2015.

On March 29, 2015, Tennis performed at Burger Records' Burgerama 4 festival in Santa Ana, California, and two songs from that set, "I'm Callin" and "Never Work for Free", were later aired on the May 7 episode of Last Call with Carson Daly. [21][22] Tennis were also selected to perform on April 1, 2015 at the United Artists Theater at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles for "The Music of David Lynch" event, hosted by the David Lynch Foundation.[23]

In early 2016, Moore and Riley once again set out on a sailboat journey in the Pacific Ocean, intended to provide inspiration for their next album, with their sailing experience being blogged by Urban Outfitters.[24]

On December 5, Tennis announced that their fourth album, Yours Conditionally, would be released on March 5, 2017 on the Mutually Detrimental label.[25]


Current members
Former members
  • James Barone - drums (2011-2015)


Studio albums[edit]


  • Small Sound (Communion, November 2013)


  • "Baltimore" (Underwater Peoples, July 2010)
  • "South Carolina" (Fire Talk, July 2010)
  • "Is It True?" (self-released, June 2011)
  • "Tell Her No" (self-released, October 2011)
  • "Tears in the Typing Pool" (self-released, December 2011)
  • "Origins" (Forest Family, December 2011)
  • "My Better Self" / "Petition" (ATP, May 2012)
  • "Guiding Light" (self-released, September 2012)
  • "I'm Callin'" (Communion Records, August 2014)
  • "Ladies Don't Play Guitar" (Mutually Detrimental, August 2016)
  • "In the Morning I'll Be Better" (Mutually Detrimental, December 2016)


  1. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch (16 May 2014), Alaina J Moore, Aurora, Colorado, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  2. ^ "United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch (23 May 2014), Patrick J Riley, Evergreen, Colorado, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  3. ^ a b "Tennis: Philosophy Grads Find Success in Music". Pinnacle. The University of Colorado, Denver. June 19, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ Ferner, Matt (April 13, 2012). "Tennis, Husband And Wife Indie Rock Band, Talk Marriage, Music In Mile High City". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Artists » Tennis | Fat Possum Records". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ ""Marathon" | Forkcast Archive". Pitchfork. June 16, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Tennis – "Live review: Tennis @ the Meadowlark"". Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Tennis Announce New Album Produced By The Black Keys' Patrick Carney - News". Pitchfork. November 9, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Tennis: "Origins - Tracks". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  10. ^ "Tennis - Tell Her No (The Zombies Cover)". Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Tennis – "Is It True?"". Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Tennis: "Tears in the Typing Pool" (Broadcast cover) - Tracks". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  13. ^ "Tennis: "Guiding Light" (Television cover) - Tracks". Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  14. ^ Evan Schlansky (April 23, 2012). "Tennis". American Songwriter. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Tennis – "Origins" 3/21 Leno | The Audio Perv". Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Tennis – It All Feels The Same 4/9 Letterman | The Audio Perv". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  17. ^ "Tennis – "High Road" and "My Better Self" 7/25 Conan | The Audio Perv". Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Tennis Tours with HAIM, New Album Out this Spring on Communion Records". Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  19. ^ "For Duo Tennis, Pop Is A Natural Language". Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Phillips, Lior (February 10, 2015). "All your favorite musicians are playing a tribute concert to David Lynch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  23. ^
  24. ^